Do You Celebrate Persian New Year?

If someone said to you “Happy Nowruz!” would you know what they meant?

You would if you were Persian.  Nowruz is the Persian New Year.  I’m not Persian but I have learned a little bit about the customs and traditions that are a part of this holiday. So!  Much like I’m not Chinese, but I have no problems celebrating Chinese New Year; I’m not Persian (or Iranian), but I would be more than happy to celebrate it!

The word which is spelled different ways ~ Nauryz, Navruz, Nouruz or Nowrouz ~  means “new day” and it occurs on the first day of spring.   This year 2020, the First Day of Spring is Thursday, March 19 (for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere).

The main component of this holiday is the Haft-Sin which is the traditional table setting.  On this table, one would usually see an arrangement of seven items which are seven symbols.  Haft-Sin means “the Seven Seens”.

All of the items start with the letter S, in the Persian language and symbolize the following:

  1. sabzeh (sprouts) = New VegetableLife or Rebirth
  2. samanu (pudding) = Power
  3. senjed (dried oleaster) = Wisdom
  4. serkeh (vinegar) = Patience
  5. sib (apple) = Health and Beauty
  6. sir (garlic) = Medicine and Health
  7. somaq (sumac; a fruity spice) = Sunrise and Good Conquering Evil

Some tables also add other items which have certain symbolism:

  • Candles = Light
  • Coins = Wealth
  • Eggs = Fertility
  • Fish (or Goldfish) = Life
  • Hyacinth = Spring
  • Lotus fruit = Love
  • Mirror = Reflection

In modern-day Iran, they celebrate for 2 weeks and the celebrations end in a special festival called ‘Sizdah Bedar’.



What do you think?


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